Where to Stay in Granada First Time: Best Areas

The best areas to stay in Granda for first-timers are the neighborhoods of historic city center, Beiro, Albaicin, Ronda District, Zaidín, Sacromonte, Chana, and Genil. These district are very popular and safe for tourist that offers a wide variety of tourist attractions and amenities.

This blog will help you to find where to stay in Granada, Spain and best things to do during your visit.

Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, this southern Spain city is the fourth most populated in Andalusia with 924,550 residents. Along with Seville, Malaga, Granada, and Cordoba, Granada is a must see in the Andalusia region.

Granada is famous for its grand Islamic architecture, free tapas, counterculture street art, and a beer spa. IT is also home to Alhambra, one of the most visited monuments in Europe with nearly 3 million visitors a year. Whether you’re looking for the hustle and bustle or simply to take in the culture, Granada’s rich history, combined with its vibrant tourist hotspots, makes it the perfect destination to accommodate both.

El Centro is the best area to stay in Granada for first-time travelers due to its close proximity to famous tourist attractions, as well as wide choice in accommodations. If you book a hotel in this area, you will be located in the middle of actions, within easy walk to the famous sights, as well as many shops, bars, and restaurants.

💖 Best Area for first-timers:Granada El Centro
💎 Best luxury hotel:Hospes Palacio de los Patos
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Eurostars Catedral 
💰 Best budget hotel:Granada Five Senses Rooms & Suites 

10 Best Areas to stay in Granada Spain for tourists

1. El Centro, where to stay in Granada first time

El Centro, where to stay in Granada for first time tourists
@Eurostars Catedral 

El Centro is the best place for first-timers because it has the heart of the city, that offers a wide ranege attractions, tourists facilities, and vibrant nightlife. This is Granada’s new commercial city center is centered around Plaza Nueva, Calle Reyes Catolicos, and Catedral de Granada.

While not as big as some of the major Spanish cities by any means, an abundance of tapas bars, cafes, and restaurants, all within walking distance, will make El Centro feel right in the thick of it. There is also plenty of souvenir shops and an amazing food market that you can spend browsing your days away in.

Highlight attractions are the 16th-century traditional Spanish Renaissance style: Granada Cathedral and Royal Chapel. Granada Cathedral is the world’s fourth largest cathedral, and dominates Granda’s historic center. It was built by Queen Isabella and took over 180 years to complete.

The Royal Chapel, also known as Capilla Real, is where the Catholic Kings are buried. It has the bodies of members of the royal family including Ferdinand and Isabella, and a Treasury with Flemish and Italian art.

Granada is famous for its Islamic architecture, but the baroque Basilica of San Juan de Diós and the renaissance building of the Monastery of San Jerónimo are also worth exploring.

You will also find the lively square from the Nasrid period, Plaza Bib Rambla which is filled with lovely cafes, street performers, lime trees, surrounded by 19th-century townhouses, Renaissance and Baroque churches.

On the square stands the 19th-century cast-iron lampposts and the 17th-century fountain with a statue of Neptune. it is a great place to enjoy one of the terraces like taste churros with chocolate.

If you want to do some shopping, head to the main central market also the best food market of Granada, Mercado San Agustin. You can also find the Alcaiceria market, also known as The Arab Market, on the Calle Alcaicería. it is a Big Bazaar, and the original Moorish silk market.

Many consider this to be the best and most diverse area in Granada and the pricing of its accommodation perfectly represents that. Whether you’re looking to stay in style or prioritizing great value, there’s an option for everyone, which is why it’s right near the top of my list of the best places to stay in Granada.

Stay in El Centro if you are first-timers; you want a convenient location with easy access to the other areas; the nightlife is important to you; you travel without a car;

Best places to stay in Granada El Centro:

luxury ($$$): Hospes Palacio de los Patos This 5-star hotel is set in a 19th-century palace, in the heart of Granaa centre, 650 m from Granada Cathedral. It has a spa with a sauna, Turkish bath, and a relaxing whirlpool, a garden with Arabian-style fountains, 24-hour reception.

mid-range ($$$): Eurostars Catedral This 4-star hotel, featuring beautiful, air-conditioned rooms, located in a building designed with palatial architecture, close the Royal Chapel and Plaza Nueva. There is a private car parking, 24h front desk, and free wifi.

budget ($$): Granada Five Senses Rooms & Suites This 3-star hotel offers an outdoor pool with views of the historic city center and the Cathedral. It has air-conditioned rooms and suites with free WiFi, a safe, and a work area with a desk, a private bathroom with free toiletries, and a hairdryer, a free minibar, and coffee capsules, and some come with a hot tub.

hostels ($): Granada Old Town Hostel This hostel is located 15 minutes walk from Granada Train Station. It offers shared dormitories and private rooms, a shared kitchen, bathroom, terrace, and lounge, as well as air-conditioning and free wifi.


See Also: What are the Best Things to Do in Granada?

2. El Albaicin, the most famous neighborhood in Granada

Albaicin, the most famous neighborhood in Granada
Albaicin (Source: Pixabay)

Located on the hill on the other side of the Darro River from the Alhambra, The most charming neighborhood in Granada, Albaicin, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the oldest areas of Granada.

If you are after stunning views and history in every direction, this city’s former Arabic barrio might be right for you.

In the 13th century, this Moorish district was a wealthy area with palaces and grand houses, also known as cármenes. After the reconquest of Granada in 1492 by the Catholic Kings, the original mosques were replaced with churches.

You will find the 16th-century Church Of San Salvador which is located on the site Great Mosque of Granada. it has Arab-style ceilings and beautiful horseshoe arches.

Its maze of medieval Moorish narrow streets weaves through whitewashed buildings displaying the culture of its Muslim Berber settlers.

Even today, the area has an almost Moroccan feel to it with small shops and tearooms selling North African goods.

Whether you want to spend days wandering the streets and dining in tea rooms and the evenings relaxing with a glass of wine as you take in the views of the Alhambra fortress and the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Don’t miss out on the 16th-century Iglesia de San Nicolas and Mirador de San Nicola, the best spot to view the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada which is a National Park designated Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1986.

Running along the river Darro is one of the oldest streets in Albaicín, Carrera del Darro. This is also one of the most scenic walks in Granada, filled with performances, vendors, cafés, restaurants with the charm of Moorish architecture, and the 11th-century Arab bathhouse.

As you may expect from an area that offers so much, it is indeed one of the pricier regions in the city. While it may not be right for those working with a tighter budget or looking for a little more nightlife if neither of those issues concerns you this is surely the place to go.

Stay in Albaicin if you love culture and Muslim architecture, you aren’t worried about price, you don’t have to bring a car, you aren’t worried about tourist attractions, you want stunning views.

Best places to stay in Granada near Albaicin:

luxury ($$$): Eurostars Gran Via This 5-star hotel is located within 10 minute walk from famous Albaicin. It features a spa area with a Turkish bath, massage rooms, an on-site restaurant with buffet breakfast, and free wifi. it provides spacious rooms with modern décor and comes with a large private bathroom, and air conditioning.

mid-range ($$): Smart Suites Albaicin This apartment is located within walking distance from San Nicolas viewpoint, Gran Via, Plaza Nueva, Granada Cathedral, and Alhambra Palace. It offers free wifi, private car parking, and spacious rooms.

budget ($): Hotel Casa 1800 Granada This traditionally styled hotel is set close to Granada Cathedral and Paseo de los Tristes Boulevard. It has beautiful views of Generalife and the Alhambra. This 3-star hotel offers guest rooms with a safety deposit box, a wardrobe, a 24-hour front desk.


See Also:

3. The Alhambra, stay right at the Alhambra

The Alhambra, stay right at the Alhambra
Alhambra (Source: Pixabay)

As far as unique options go, this is certainly up there. As I touched on briefly earlier, the Alhambra is one of the central attractions in Granada. It is a palace and fortress of the Moorish monarchs of Granada.

The Alhambra is a fortress, first built in 889 AD, that sits atop the hills overlooking the Darro river. It has also spent part of its existence as a royal palace and is filled with Muslim art and architecture akin to that found in the surrounding areas of the city.

While in most instances a location such as this would be a day trip from where you’re staying, in Granada you have the option to actually stay within the walls of the Alhambra. There is one luxury hotel, the Parador de Granada, within the spectacular Alhambra complex.

Now, obviously, places are extremely limited and are priced accordingly for such a premium location. That being said, if you’re looking to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience, shelling out such a sum will almost certainly be worth it.

This isn’t just one of the best places to stay in Granada, it’s one of the most amazing places to stay in Spain as a whole.

Stay around The Alhambra if you want a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you have plenty of money to spend, you don’t need to bring a car, you love history.

Best places to stay in Granada in Alhambra:

luxury ($$$): Eurostars Washington Irving This 5-star hotel is located within easy walk from Alhambra. It has a library containing first editions of many of Washington Irving’s books, an outdoor pool, a sun terrace, as well as luxurious, air-conditioned rooms.

mid-range ($$): Parador de Granada This 4-star destination, housed in a 15th-century convent that is actually located within the walls of the Alhambra. There is also a terrace, patio, and bar overlooking the stunning gardens, as well as a restaurant serving traditional Andalusian cuisine.

budget ($): Apartamentos Campo Del Príncipe This modern apartment is located just a 10-minute walk from the Alhambra. The units are simply but stylishly decorated and each features free wifi, a private bathroom, kitchen. There is also a communal roof terrace available, boasting outdoor furniture and incredible panoramic views.


4. Sacromonte, the neighborhood of caves

Sacromonte, the neighborhood of caves
Sacromonte (Source: Pixabay)

Located above the Albaicín district, on the banks of the river Darro, Sacromonte takes the idea of culture as its selling point and runs with it. Sacromonte is also known as the neighborhood of caves or the gypsy neighborhood.

Here you will find a unique history, where homes were built into the hillside in whitewashed caves by the Romani people who settled it, thus earning it the nickname of the gypsy neighborhood.

Many of the caves have been converted to bars or a place to hosts flamenco shows. You can learn more about its history at the Sacromonte Caves Museum (Cuevas del Sacromonte).

Don’t let this rustic feel fool you though, there is plenty of life to the area. Considered to be the best place in the city to experience the true Flamenco, you can find guitarists playing, people dancing and even an academy with people studying the art.

No trip to Sacromonte, or Granada in general, would be complete without a visit to the Abadia Del Sacromonte. The 17th-century Sacromonte Abbey that gave the area its name sits atop the Valparaiso hill and is truly a sight to behold.

While the prices are still a little steep, there are a few more reasonable deals to be had than in Albaicin. You also have the chance to stay in one of the hillside caves with panoramic views of the city, but these are few and far between so make sure you book well in advance.

One thing that’s guaranteed though, is that Sacromonte will provide a unique experience like no other.

Stay in Sacromonte if you love flamenco, you aren’t too worried about the price, you’re interested in Romani culture, you don’t have to bring a car, you like natural beauty, such as caves, you want stunning views.

Best places to stay in Granada Sacromonte:

budget ($): Apartamentos Montesclaros provides beautiful, spacious apartments, all of which boast free and air-conditioning as well as a private bathroom, kitchen, and dining room, while some even have their own balcony. Close to San Nicholas Viewpoint, San Nicolas Viewpoint, Alhambra, and Generalife.

budget ($): Solar MontesClaros provides rooms decorated in a traditional Andalusian style, all fully air-conditioned and feature either a balcony or a terrace with an amazing view of the Alhambra Palace. Within walking distance from Elvira Street, solar MontesClaros, Generalife Palace.

budget ($): Apartamentos Alhambra Dream This accommodation offers traditional, rustically themed, air-conditioned apartments, set in a quiet residential area, just 600m away from the Archaeological Museum of Granada. It features a typical Andalusian design, tiled floors, flower pots on the windows, and white walls.


5. El Realejo, the coolest area to stay in Granada

El Realejo, the coolest area to stay in Granada
Realejo (Source: Flick Martin Haisch)

If you liked the sound of Albaicin, but the Arabic culture didn’t pique your interest, allow me to bring your attention to the cool neighborhood of Realejo.

Realejo is famous for its amazing street art, narrow cobbled streets, great tapas bars, and vibrant nightlife.

Located on the opposite side of the Alhambra to Albaicin, Realejo features many of the same sights and sounds, including the winding streets and spectacular views. This time, however, the history and culture is slightly different.

This was the old Jewish quarter of the city and has a fantastic array of architecture to behold, including whitewashed houses and a convent.

While mostly similar to Albaicin, it does have a little more to offer in the way of cool tapas bars and restaurants, especially Campo del Principe area has a high concentration of taverns, bars, and tapas spots.

Campo del Principe is allocated on top of the old Muslim cemetery. Next to it is the Church of San Cecilio which was the site of an ancient mosque.

You can also see the Palace of los Condes de Gabia, the sixteenth century Palace of La Casa de los Tiros, and the Church of Santo Domingo, established in 1492 by the Catholic Monarchs.

If you head to San Matias Street, you can admire fascinating structures including the Convent of the Mercedarias, The House of Gran Capitan, Antigua Capitania, the Imperial Church of St. Matthias, and the Plaza Mariana.

For art lovers, Barrio Realejo has some of the nicest graffiti in the city. Make sure to check the art scene at the famous El Niño de las Pinturas.

Its pricing is also a little more affordable than Albaicin, though there are still locations with a better value to be found if that is your priority.

Stay in Realejo if you love Jewish culture and architecture, you want to be around street art vibe, you aren’t worried about the price, you don’t have to bring a car, you aren’t worried about tourist attractions, you want stunning views.

Best Places to Stay near Realejo:

luxury ($$$): Alhambra Palace. Alhambra Palace is just outside the Alhambra’s ancient walls, with amazing views of Granada. Within a short distance from Alhambra, the medieval Moorish quarter, and Albayzín.

budget ($): Palacio De Los Navas This bed and breakfast are located in the central location of Granada, just 400 m from Calle Elvira. It features beautiful, air-conditioned rooms with free wifi and a flat-screen TV.


6. La Chana, budget-friendly area, great for tapas lovers

La Chana, budget-friendly area, great for tapas lovers
La Chana (Source: Flick Miguel)

So far, the options we’ve looked at have all required a reasonable budget to stay in. While El Centro certainly had more lower-priced options available, there will still be those who want to dedicate as little of their funds to their accommodation when traveling, in order to maximize the amount they have available to enjoy themselves while they’re there. 

Well, it wouldn’t truly be a list of the best places to stay in Granada if I didn’t include something for everybody so, with that being said, enter La Chana, the neighborhood northwest of the center of Granada.

Chana is one of the busiest student barrios of Granada as its location is near to the city’s University. You can easily find cheap tapas bars, restaurants, and accommodations that cater to students.

An emerging neighborhood, La Chana still features incredibly affordable accommodation but with the benefit that it is starting to feature more and more facilities you would expect from a tourist hotspot.

Famous for its wonderful tapas bars and beer and red wine, an abundance of bars, terraces, highly rated restaurants and live music performances are quickly making this one of the go-to spots in Granada.

You can head to the busiest streets of Delfín, Trucha Salmón and Raya and places near the Carretera de Málaga.

It also has a great transportation service, thanks in large part to the famous university that’s located nearby. This means that you can enjoy the great value the area has to offer, without worrying about missing out on the more famous sights Granada is famed for.

Stay in La Chana if you are tapas lovers, you need to bring a car, you have young children, you prioritize great value, you love great restaurants.

Best places to stay in La Chana: Be Free Granada offers a range of spacious, affordable, simply styled one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. All of the units are pet friendly, and feature a private kitchen, bathroom, seating area, and flat-screen TV, while free wifi and parking are available for all guests around the site. Also close to San Juan de Dios Museum.


7. Ronda District, popular with students

Ronda District, popular with students

Another quiet, affordable neighborhood, the Ronda District is incredibly popular with students, due to its cost and proximity to the main University of Granada.

This helps it to achieve a vibrant, youthful atmosphere throughout many of its bars and restaurants.

Speaking of which, the district features some of the best tapas and seafood bars in the city. This makes it the perfect place to enjoy some traditional Granadan cuisine, without breaking the bank.

Located to the west of Granada, Ronda is the most populated area of the city, formed by several neighborhoods including Camino de Ronda, Rosaleda, and Fígares-Río Tenerías neighborhoods.

Camino de Ronda is the main street that spans from La Chana into this area of the city below el Centro. Another popular street among the university crowd is the Pedro Antonio where you will find plenty of tapas restaurants and bars.

Ronda is home to a number of small castles, the Federico Garcia Lorca Museum, and a couple of interesting parks like Federico García Lorca Park and  Science Park.

Ronda offers affordable hotels and guesthouses, giving you plenty of options when it comes to where you stay during your trip.

Stay In Ronda District If you are traveling on a budget, you are, or are visiting, a student at the university, you like tapas and seafood.

Best places to stay in Ronda District:

mid-range ($$): Sercotel Gran Hotel Luna de Granada This 4-star hotel provides spacious, air-conditioned rooms, with free wifi, indoor heated swimming pool, an outdoor swimming pool, and a spa. It’s also located within 10-minute walk from Granada historic town, and close to Alhambra Palace, Granada Train Station, Albaicin, and Granada Science Park.

mid-range ($$): Hotel Porcel Sabica Located in Granada city centre, within walking distance from Granada Cathedral, Palacio de Congresos Convention Centre, and a short ride from the Alhambra by taxi.

mid-range ($$): Senator Granada Spa Hotel Offers stylish accommodation next to Granada’s Congress Centre, also near Granada Science Park, Calle Navas, and Bib-Rambla Square.


8. Zaidin, the most modern district in Granada

Located on the banks of the Monachil and Genil rivers, Zaidin is one of the most modern districts in the city. Everything from hotels to bars and restaurants is either new or has been renovated and modernized. This makes it ideal for anyone seeking a fresh, clean feel throughout their stay.

The area is filled with beautiful parks for you to stroll around in, relaxing in the beautiful weather. While there aren’t a huge number of options for nightlife, these should more than suffice for those happier with a slower pace.

The one thing it does have to offer though is the Los Carmenes stadium. Home to Granada Football Club, as well as the host of many of the city’s biggest events, it is the ideal location for anyone hoping to catch a game or a show.

It is also the most scientific in Granada with the most sophisticated science centers including the Science Park, the Congress Centre, the Experimental Station, and the Astrophysics Institute of Andalusia.

The Zaidín Rock Festival is a famous festival hosted in Zadin, marking the end of summer.

Stay In Zaidin If you are coming to see a football match or another event at Los Carmenes stadium, you aren’t worried about nightlife, you enjoy beautiful parks, you want new, modern accommodation and amenities.

Best places to stay in Zaidin:

mid-range ($$): Hotel Andalucía Center Located within a short stroll from Granada’s Science Park, Federico García Lorca Park, Granada Congress and Exhibition Centre, and Granada city centre. This 4-star hotel offers comfortable rooms with air-conditioning, free wifi, and an on-site restaurant serve Mediterranean food.

mid-range ($$): Hotel Saray This elegant Andalusian design hotel offers modern, air-conditioned rooms with flat-screen satellite TV and free wifi. It’s situated next to Granada’s Congress Centre, within a 10-minute walk from Granada’s historic center, and a few steps from the airport bus stop. The Albaycin district and Alhambra Palace are less than 2km away.


9. Genil and Bola De Oro, peace and quiet barrio to stay in Granada

Genil and Bola De Oro, peace and quiet barrio to stay in Granada
Genil (Source: Flick Martin Haisch)

The main drawback of this quiet region of Genil is that it lies a little further from the center of Granada than the others do. However, that’s the very reason for one of its most attractive qualities. it is located near the Genil River and wraps all the way around the Alhambra.

Bola De Oro is a quiet, residential neighborhood. Shops, bars, and restaurants all cater primarily to the locals, allowing you to get an authentic experience.

Beautiful views of the surrounding landscape and The Alhambra give you a picturesque backdrop to relax and enjoy a drink or meal with. The Alhambra itself is within walking distance, while the city center is just a bus ride away.

This makes it the perfect area for families who need a little more room or those on a budget. You get all the benefits of a small town, without having to miss out on any of the attractions.

In order to encourage tourists away from the heart of the city, the hotels in Genil offer incredibly reasonable rates. This is even more impressive when you see the quality of the hotels in question, as most feature swimming pools, Turkish baths, and beautiful grounds.

Another factor that makes this an appealing destination is that it lies on the edge of a nature preserve. That means those who are looking to enjoy what the city has to offer but like the option to get away from everything for a while can get the best of both worlds.

When you combine all of that, it shouldn’t be hard to see why Genil is such an appealing destination for many. If you do want to stay here though, make sure to book in advance as the number of hotels in the area is limited.

Stay in Genil if you aren’t worried about having to travel long distances to get around, you prioritize great value, you love nature, you have to bring a car, you aren’t worried about nightlife or traditional tourist activities.

Best places to stay in Genil:

mid-range ($$): Hotel Macià Real De La Alhambra is a stylish, modern, 4-star hotel, located just a 10-minute drive from the city centre. The contemporary rooms are spacious and designed in a minimalist style, and all offer air-conditioning, a flat screen TV and a safety deposit box, while some even feature a balcony with sun loungers.

mid-range ($$): Abades Nevada Palace is a beautiful, 4-star hotel and spa, where the air-conditioned rooms are all decorated in a hypermodern style and feature a private bathroom, satellite TV and mini bar. The hotel features a number of amenities to keep you entertained and help you relax, such as 2 pools, a gym, sauna, hammam, Turkish bath and massage services.

budget ($): Hotel Albero is an affordable, family-run hotel, located just a 5-minute drive from the Alhambra. Single, double and triple rooms are available, all of which feature a simple, homely style, as well as more luxury touches like marble floors. Free wifi is available throughout the site, while breakfast is served each morning.


10. Beiro, good area for local vibe, and great nightlife

Beiro is a vibrant district, best described as a melting pot of different cultures and nationalities. The location of the city’s main bus and train terminals, travelers arrive here from all over the continent on a daily basis.

Especially popular with younger visitors, there are plenty of budget hotels and hostels without all the frills. This is a favorite among backpackers, who simply need a place to sleep for a night.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the clientele, it also features one of the most popular nightlife scenes in the city. Bars and clubs feature a lively vibe, making them ideal for meeting new traveling partners or simply having a great night out on the town. 

Beiro is home to Plaza de Toros (Bull Ring), one of the 10 biggest bullrings in Spain. You can visit the bull ring and see the pens, the infirmary, and the chapel. There are also plenty of bars and restaurants outside of the bullring where you can have a meal and tapas.

Beiro is a little bit far from the city center, it’s less touristy. Stay in Beiro if you want a local vibe, authentic experience with great tapas bars and paella.

Stay In Beiro If you are traveling to the city by bus or train, you are a backpacker or need budget accommodation, you’re looking for the best area to stay in Granada Spain for nightlife.

Best places to stay in Granada in Beiro:

mid-range ($$): Allegro Granada By Barceló 4 star hotel, located within walking distance from Granada’s Bullring, the Train Station, Plaza de Toros, Monasterio Cartuja and also close to Granada city centre. This hotel offers modern air-conditioned rooms, with free wifi, an outdoor swimming pool, and an on-site restaurant.

mid-range ($$): Leonardo Hotel Granada This mid-range hotel offers rooms with the Alhambra Palace views and city views, located just 400m from Granada Train Station, Granada University, within 10 minutes walk from the Granada Cathedral and Elvira Street.

budget ($): Apartamento Familiar Cisne This budget apartment is located close to Basilica de San Juan de Dios, San Juan de Dios Museum, Plaza Nueva, San Nicolas Viewpoint, and Hammam Arab Baths.


Check out my virtual tour of the best places to stay in Granada in this video:

Best Areas to Stay in Granada, Spain

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The River Darro runs through the old town, splitting the hills of the Alhambra, Sacromonte, and Albaycin. The Genil, Trevélez, and Poqueira are the main rivers of Granada. If this is your first visit, I recommend to stay in Granada Centro, which is the best area to stay in Granada.

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